New Report Highlights Economic Impact of Hosting Rugby World Cup 2019


According to a report published by EY on Tuesday,
the Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019 was the most economically
successful Rugby World Cup ever, with nearly £4.3 billion
generated in economic output.

The 44-day global celebration of rugby, hosted
across 12 cities the length and breadth of Japan, captured the
imagination of a nation and fans around the world.

The EY report outlines how Rugby World Cup 2019
generated £4.3 billion in output and added £2.3 billion to Japan’s
GDP. It attracted 242,000 international fans from 178 nations, who
stayed an average of 17 days, visiting five cities on average.
More than 60 per cent of fans were visiting the country for the
first time, while their daily spend was 4.6 times higher than that
spent by the average visitor to Japan in 2018.

Two Japanese rugby fans cheering their team. Picture by Steven Howard of Click to enlarge.

Aside from
a record economic impact footprint that reached from Sapporo in
the north to Kumamoto in the south, the tournament also created or
sustained 46,000 jobs and 13,000 volunteer roles, many of whom
will be supporting Tokyo 2020 next year.

The host’s ticketing
strategy also proved successful with a total of 1.83 million
tickets sold. The 99 per cent attendance versus capacity rate
across the 45 matches is the most successful in Rugby World Cup
history and among the most successful major sports events of all
time. It was the biggest single-sport event ever held in Japan. In
addition, a record 1.13 million fans attended one or more of the
16 official fanzones despite two typhoons during the event.

Stadia packed with Japanese fans (more than 50 per cent
attending a rugby match for the first time) combined with joyous
overseas fans created a special atmosphere, The performance of
Japan’s national team – the Brave Blossoms – in reaching the
quarter-finals for the first time played a leading role in
boosting national pride with 90 per cent of people in Japan
believing that hosting captured the nation’s imagination, boosting
pride, excitement and engagement.

Quick Stats

* Asia and Japan’s first
Rugby World Cup;

* Unprecedented 44-day global shop window for
Japan and rugby;

* Record nationwide economic impact beyond

* 242,000 international visitors staying average of 17
days v 14 days for RWC 2015;

* 60 per cent of fans visiting
Japan for the first time;

* 90 per cent of fans said they would
return to Japan;

* 80 per cent of fans said they had an
exceptional experience;

* £4.3 billion total economic
impact/£2.3 billion GDP increase;

* £2.3 billion spent in Japan
by international visitors;

* £286 average spend per
international visitor per night, almost double England 2015
(£4,574 total average v £2,400);

* RWC 2019 visiting fans spent
4.6 times more than the average visitor to Japan in 2018;

46,340 jobs created or supported for the tournament;

* RWC 2019
visitors stayed 17 days, compared to 14 days average at RWC 2015;

* £2 million pledged for the Childfund Pass It Back programme, a
partnership between Childfund, World Rugby, Asia Rugby and the

* 2.25 million people introduced to rugby
in Asia via the Impact Beyond programme (769,000 children involved
in tag rugby in elementary schools in Japan); and

* Significant
infrastructure legacy for rugby and community sport, including the
Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.

A separate Nielsen Sports DNA report conducted immediately
after the tournament also demonstrates the significant pride and
happiness benefits of hosting to the Japanese people:

78 per cent of the general public thought that Rugby World Cup
hosting in a so-called “non-traditional” rugby market was positive
for the future of the sport;

* 46 per cent of the general public
thought Rugby World Cup was the most exciting sporting event of
2019 (70 per cent in Japan), compared to 25 per cent who
disagreed, demonstrating the value of hosting to international
marketing and national pride;

* The level of Rugby World Cup
interest almost doubled from 26 per cent in 2018 to 44 per cent in
2019, representing more than 50 million people;

* Nine out of 10
people in Japan believed that Rugby World Cup hosting captured the
imagination, boosting national pride, excitement and engagement;

* Nine out of 10 people in Japan got behind the national team on
their run to the quarter-finals, reflecting a 33 per cent increase
in ‘niwaka fans’ or new fans during the tournament;

* 83 per
cent of people in Japan believe that hosting Rugby World Cup
generated a positive legacy for rugby, delivering future major
rugby event hosting opportunities for Japan;

* 50 per cent of
those in Japan who followed Rugby World Cup had become interested
in the sport in the last year, highlighting the significant legacy
opportunity for host nations;

* 54 per cent of those in Japan
who followed the tournament were doing so for the first time; and

74 per cent of Japanese who were aware of Rugby World Cup believe
that the tournament will encourage more children to play the sport.

World Rugby Chairman Sir Bill Beaumont said, “The outcomes
of this comprehensive EY report reaffirm Japan 2019’s status as
one of the great Rugby World Cups on and off the field. It is also
good news for France 2023 and interested nations and unions
wishing to host in the future. It reflects Rugby World
Cup’s status as one of the best-loved and most prestigious major
sports events to host, while highlighting the significant social
and economic benefits that make the tournament such an attractive
low-risk, high-return on investment hosting proposition for
governments and unions alike.”

With 769,000 children in
Japan introduced to tag rugby in school because of the tournament
and a strong performance by the national team, Japan Rugby
Football Union President Shigetaka Mori says that Rugby World Cup
2019 will continue to be a catalyst for rugby participation,
popularity and profile in Japan.

“I would like to express
my most sincere appreciation to everyone involved in the success
of Rugby World Cup 2019”, he said. “I am forever grateful
that Rugby World Cup was held in Japan, resulting in the
increasing popularity of the game and more people than ever
becoming familiar with the beauty of our beloved sport. With
enthusiastic cheers from all over Japan, the Japan national team
made history by powering their way to the quarter-finals, the
highest Rugby World Cup finish they have ever achieved. We
are determined to make sure that the valuable legacy left by this
immeasurably successful tournament will live on, and we will
continue to strive to make rugby a well-loved national sport in
our country. If the opportunity arose again, we would be eager to
demonstrate our intention to bid for future Rugby World Cups and
make the Japan national team the world’s best team.”

World Cup 2019 Organising Committee CEO, Akira Shimazu, said, “Rugby World Cup
2019 was an unforgettable event which will be fondly remembered by
everyone for years to come. The excitement around the
stadiums and official fanzones in each host city was incredible,
and what we achieved was in no small part thanks to all 19 local
governments of the 12 match venues that embodied the sense of
responsibility and pride that was crucial to this tournament’s
success. Once again, I would like to extend my respect
and gratitude to all those involved who contributed to the success
of Rugby World Cup 2019, including the 13,000 volunteers whose
efforts will never be forgotten. We hope that the hosting of this tournament will help to enrich sports culture in Japan and
will lead to the further global development of rugby starting from
the community level.”

The EY report can be downloaded in .pdf


Rugby pictures
Pictures from 2019 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens

Pictures from 2018 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

Pictures from 2017 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens

Pictures from 2016 Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong
Kong Sevens

Pictures of Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2015

Pictures of the Asia Rugby Sevens Olympic Games Qualifier in Hong

Pictures of Singha Thailand Sevens 2015

Pictures from the 2013 British & Irish Lions Tour in Hong Kong

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2014

Pictures of Hong Kong Sevens 2013
of Chartis Cup 2012
Pictures of
Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens 2012

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